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Authors: Jolene Perry

Tags: #dating, #rape, #sex, #young adult, #las vegas, #teen pregnancy, #adolescence, #contemporary romance, #virginity, #night sky, #jolene perry

Night Sky

BOOK: Night Sky
4.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub




Night Sky

Jolene Perry

Copyright © 2012 by Jolene Perry

Smashwords Edition

Except for the use of short passages for
review purposes, no part of this book may be reproduced, in part or
in whole, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronically or mechanically, including photocopying, recording,
or any information or storage retrieval system, without prior
permission in writing from the publisher.

Cover design: Bokheim Media


ISBN: 978-0-9837418-6-2


Tribute Books

PO Box 95

Archbald, Pennsylvania 18403

(570) 876-2416

Email: [email protected]


Visit the book’s web site at and email Jolene Perry at
[email protected].

To my husband, Mike, who proved that nice
guys do exist, even in high school.






















































I push my way through the masses of dancing
couples, out the heavy doors of the school, and stop.

I can breathe. The air fills my lungs, but doesn’t clear my

The screeching brakes of
the city bus travels across the parking lot.
. I sprint and jump on at the
last second. The bus is empty, and I’m alone on the one night I
need distraction. I slump in the back seat, the only row with
enough legroom, and pull out my iPod. I slide in my ear buds and
blast Nirvana’s
as loud as I can stand it. It’s old, as old as
me—but good
long sleeves of my button-up shirt are driving me crazy, so I roll
them up, wishing my dress pants were jeans.

The thing is, I knew it could happen—that
Sarah could end up with another guy. But I didn’t know it would
hurt this much. Somebody needs to stop making those bullshit
romantic comedies. They mess with your head.

I can’t believe I just
. I
close my eyes—the sight of her and Eric pressed together hits me in
the chest again.

Shit. I don’t want to think about this

The bus slows. I’m one street off the Las
Vegas strip. It seems like a good place to lose myself for a while.
Nirvana’s still ramming my eardrums at a satisfactory volume, and
I’m not expected home for hours. Though, with it being Friday
night, nobody will miss me until one of my parents rolls out of bed
sometime around noon tomorrow.

I step off the bus and start walking.

Before I realize what I’m
doing, I’m stepping through the doors of the Paris Hotel.
As soon as Mom
sees me, she’ll know.
I shouldn’t have
come. I scan for her quickly though, just in case. It seems wrong,
or rude or something to just walk back out.
There are a few rows of slot machines and felt tables as soon
as I step inside, but Mom’s usually back where the serious money
changes hands.

She’s worked in the casinos since I can
remember—Dad, too. Mom’s a waitress, skimpy uniform and all, but
she makes more money on the floor than she did back in the

I take one more glance around and don’t see
her. The feeling’s a mix of the hole in my chest being dug even
deeper, and relief that I won’t have to talk about it or see her
sympathetic face. It really screws with a guy’s head when his mom
pities him.

I jerk the ear buds out of my ears, and the
rattle of the slot machines drowns out everything else. I’ll admit
it’s an odd noise to gain comfort from, but when you’ve grown up
around casinos…there’s just something about the familiar.

“Hi, Jameson,” Mom says as she walks by
bumping me with her hip. Her smile is wide, until our eyes

Yep, there it is—that sympathetic look, the
one I both love and hate.

“I’m just about to take my lunch. Wanna join

I nod. Only Mom would call a midnight meal,

She pulls a security card out of her tiny
pocket. “Go on back. I’ll see you in a few.” Her smile falters,
which just makes me feel worse. I should have gone to see if Mike
was still hanging around so I could play with the dolphins at the

“Thanks.” I pick up the card and head for
the employees-only door.

I glance around for Dad.
He’s a pit boss, the guy with the earpiece who stands in the middle
of a group of tables looking important. He usually watches over the
front area because he’s good at his job, and it’s the busiest spot
in the casino
But I don’t see him.

I slide Mom’s card through the slot, and
open the employee door to the break area.

“Jameson!” Two of the girls Mom works with
wave from across the room. They might be ten years younger than
Mom, but they don’t look any better than she does in their little
blue and red uniforms. The uniforms aren’t bad, especially not for
Vegas standards. They’re low in the front and low in the back, but
with a tiny skirt instead of something that looks like panties. To
me, they look like the Halloween version of a flight attendant’s

“You are so cute,” Kim says, giving me a
wink. With lashes too long to be real, it’s amazing her thick
mascara doesn’t keep her eyes shut. “You got a kiss for me?” She
stands up and puckers her lips to blow me a kiss.

“Stop, Kim. He’s underage.” Jessica runs her
hand over my nearly shaved head. “Must be swim time again,

“Practice starts next week.”

Jessica waves as she steps around me and
heads back out to the floor.

“No judge would blame me for thinking you’re
legal.” Kim steps close, leans up, and kisses my cheek.

I kiss hers back. We always flirt like this,
even though she honestly makes me a little uncomfortable. I never
know what to do with my hands when she gets this close.

“Do you know how many girls would kill for
your skin?” She shakes her head. “Just the right amount of brown to
give you the perfect tan—like a nice sun-kissed Mexican

“That’s because I
part Mexican, Kim.”
She’s still standing too close, almost against me. I smile wide—a
show of a confidence that I’m not feeling right now.

She rolls her eyes. “I know who your dad

Everyone knows my dad.
He’s the big guy with the warm smile.
all tease him about his “work” face because apparently a pit boss
shouldn’t look so friendly.

“And look at you.” She pats my chest a few
times with the palm of her hand. “Broader—every time I see

I have no idea what to say to that. I should
probably say something about swimming, but Kim interrupts by
smacking my ass with her hand on her way out the door.

“My offer’s still on the table,” she says as
the door closes.

Her offer was to give me a night I’d never
forget. It’s a joke, but part of me thinks that if I said yes, she
might do it. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Guess it should
make me feel pretty good.

Mom steps through the doorway, does a quick
survey of the room, and sits down holding a baguette sandwich.
“Share?” Her brown hair is piled up high on her head and her eyes
look huge with too much makeup, but I’m used to it.

“Sure.” I sit next to her. It’s nearly one
o’clock in the morning, but I don’t feel tired. I’m from a family
of night owls.

“Did you survive Kim?” Mom smirks.

“Yeah.” I rub my hands down my thighs a few
times, trying to loosen up.

“So, the dance didn’t go
well?” She doesn’t look at me. She already knows and probably isn’t
sure if I want to talk about it.
not sure if I want to talk about

“It went great for Sarah. She got exactly
what she wanted.” I break the sandwich apart, stare at the wilted
lettuce on day-old bread, and lose my appetite.

“Just cram down a little bit. It’ll make me
feel better,” Mom says, pushing it my way.

I rip off a small bite and stuff it in my

“I’m sorry,” she
says. I wonder if my brown eyes are as easy to read as hers.

“It’s…” Okay is what I want to say, but it
isn’t okay. It doesn’t feel okay. It feels like I’ve been
flattened, stretched and left in the gutter.

She puts her arm around my shoulders and
kisses my cheek. “She doesn’t know what she’s missing.”

“Actually, she does, Mom. We’ve been friends
for three years. She knows me better than anyone, but chose someone
she didn’t know instead.” And just when I thought it couldn’t get
worse, it does. Because hearing it all out loud? Makes it

I know what the next words
out of Mom’s mouth are going to be.
Sarah even know she had a choice?
But she
doesn’t push me. I’m thankful. Mom knows how I feel about Sarah,
how I’ve felt about Sarah. She also knows I haven’t said anything
about how I feel. Rejection, like the one I faced tonight was bad
enough. If Sarah’d had all the facts—knew I’d been in love with
her, and still turned me down? It would definitely feel worse…well,
I’m not sure it’s possible to feel

The mental picture of
Sarah in Eric’s arms hits me again, and I have to take a deep
breath to keep from crying
. Crying? What
the hell is wrong with me?
Being in love
is really messing with my head.

I stand up. “I’m gonna head home.”

“Already?” Mom’s eyebrows go up.

Only my parents would
it’s after one o’clock in the morning.

“Yes, already.”

“Your dad and I took separate cars tonight.
Why don’t you take one home?” She rummages in her bag for her

“That’d actually be great.” The bus is cool,
but it does shut down. And weirdos are one thing. Wasted weirdos
are another. Those really start to come out after midnight.

“Well, it’s about to get better. I drove
your Dad’s Porsche.” She gives me a sly smile while handing me the

I laugh. That







I finger the keychain as I make my way to
the employee parking area. Owning a Porsche is a big deal…and it
isn’t. First off, it’s a Boxster, which means it’s barely a
Porsche. And it’s more than a few years old…like eight. But Dad
takes immaculate care of it and it’s fast as hell.

BOOK: Night Sky
4.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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